Asian markets fall as US financial crisis deepens

September 15th, 2008 - 6:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangkok, Sep 15 (DPA) Asia’s main stock markets in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong were closed for bank holiday Monday, but the rest of the region’s bourses dropped sharply on news of Wall Street’s deepening financial crisis.Taiwan’s stocks shed 4.09 percent on reports that US investment banker Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc would declare bankruptcy, and that Merrill Lynch would be bought out by Bank of America.

The Weighted Price Index of Taiwan Stock Exchange opened sharply lower and continued its downward trend to close at 6052.45 points, down 258.23 points, or 4.09 percent.

All eight major sectors dropped, with construction falling 6.8 percent to become the day’s biggest loser, followed by cement’s 6.1 percent and financials’ 6 percent.

Stocks on the Singapore Exchange slumped 3.29 percent, with the benchmark Straits Times Index dropping 84.4 points to 2,486.21.

Indonesia’s stock market plunged by 4.7 per cent Monday, as the Indonesia Composite Index closed at 1,719.254 points, or down 84.808 points.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index ended at 642.39, down 11.95 points, or 1.8 percent.

Brokers attributed the SET’s modest decline compared with other Asian bourses to the government decision to lift a state of emergency in Bangkok over the weekend.

“This is not surprising because the Thai market has been falling for weeks,” said Mongol Puengpaetha, an analyst at Adkinson Securities. “The lifting of the emergency decree was good news and should have boosted the market. Instead, we just didn’t fall as far as the others.”

On Sunday the government suspended the decree that was in place for Bangkok since September 2, after street fighting between pro-government and anti-government groups claimed one life.

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